Belgium continues the modern route with Eliot’s ‘Wake Up’
After a successful streak of three consecutive top 10 finishes from 2015 to 2017, Belgium turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of Eurovision 2018. Sennek’s ‘A Matter of Time’ was a favourite early on, but the performance did not live up to the hype and Belgium crashed out in the semi-final. This year it is RTBF, the French languaged Belgian broadcaster, who selects the candidate. They chose for 18-year-old The Voice alumni Eliot Vassamillet.
The Belgians show they mean business again by having Pierre Dumoulin, who composed Blanche’s ‘City Lights’ which finished 4th in 2017, write another entry for the contest. The track is called ‘Wake Up’ and it is another slice of slightly mysterious, electronic pop. The tune starts out with a dark synth melody, reminiscent of the theme of television series Stranger Things. The track subtly changes pace in the chorus, which is quite a straightforward, poppy affair. Eliot sounds confident and passionate when he sings:
“I came to fight over you, don’t want your lies, I need truth.” In terms of production, the track could have used a bit more bite in the chorus, making it grab the attention more. ‘Wake Up’ might not stand out as much and may not be as instantly catchy as ‘City Lights’ was, but it is easily one of the best compositions in this year’s contest I have heard so far.
We will have to wait a bit longer to hear what ‘Wake Up’ sounds like in a live setting and no details about the stage show are known yet. The music video however has a dark and mysterious vibe until the chorus, where Eliot and the people surrounding him literally let the light back in. This could translate to an intriguing stage performance. Belgium has another entry with lots of potential!
Review on his semi-final performance:
Belgium found out the hard way last year that a beautiful song can still be ruined by questionable staging, but it seems they did not learn. ‘Wake Up’ was one of my favourite tunes going into the contest and deserved a way better performance. The vocals were off in the chorus, the drums on stage did not fit with the song at all and the styling was a choice. Although I will sure miss ‘Wake Up’ in the final, the Belgian delegation brought their non-qualification upon themselves. They finished in 13th place in this weak semi-final.
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